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How To Defend Your DUI Charge

dui-west-palm-beach-lawyer_180x120-150x119Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is dangerous and that is why drunk driving laws are passed in each state to make it illegal for a person to drive if he/she has consumed enough alcohol to be impaired. The level of intoxication at which it is illegal to drive may vary according to region and country. Penalties for this crime also vary among jurisdictions. Remember it is not illegally to drink alcohol and operate a motor vehicle. It is unlawful to drive a car while your normal faculties are impaired or you have an amount of alcohol or illegal drugs in your blood, breath or urine above the legal limits.  What are your normal faculties: you ability to walk, talk, hear, judge distances, act in emergencies and carry on with normal movement.
DUI charges may lead to serious consequences, especially if a driver has a previous DUI conviction. Drunk driving laws are instituted to protect civilians from injury or death caused by individuals who drive while intoxicated. Some states categorize drunk driving charges as felonies under certain circumstances.  In Florida, if you have had three or more previous DUI’s, or a DUI involving serious injury to yourself or others you may be charged with Felony DUI.
In many cases, police officers enforce drunk driving laws by using field sobriety tests that let them assess a driver’s level of intoxication. Although the assessment may be subjective, an officer’s evaluation may allow him to determine whether the suspect’s ability to drive was impaired. The officer’s determination may be significant in court. Please also remember that the sheriff or police officer conducting the investigation will have the suspected drunk driver videoed and recorded so everything that the person says and how the drivers looks will be played for the jury or judge.
DUI charges may be falsely interrupted by the police officers or sheriffs, because many of their devices or equipment that measures alcohol levels are out of date and or miss calibrated. Therefore, the test may be rendered inadmissible.  The biggest DUI loopholes are the testing equipments and the decisions being based upon the officer’s statement. The situation might be frustrating when you are really not drunk and are taken to the court for the DUI charge. But you have no proof if the police officer’s judgment is incorrect. Hiring a DUI lawyer is your best and only option to beat DUI, save money and aggravation. An experienced DUI Lawyer who has trial experience in hundreds of DUI cases will provide the best possible defenses for you.
When Are You Over The Limit?
The BAC limit for a DUI in Florida for person over 21 years of age is .08%. If you are at or over.08%, you will be arrested. It is very hard to defend against a BAC level. While the breathalyzer can be a problematic device, in most cases, a positive read will lead to charges. If a blood test for alcohol is taken at a later stage, that’s a more precise number. The advice is NEVER to blow into the machines that the government provides to help in their imprisonment of you.
Florida DUI Laws
Florida Drunk Driving Definition
Drunk driving, known as driving under the influence or DUI in Florida, is governed by Fla. Stat. § 316.193. This statute defines the offense as when someone is driving or in actual physical control on Florida roads while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, inhalants, or a combination of them to the extent that his or her normal faculties are impaired, or when that person’s blood or breath alcohol concentration (BAC) is at or above the legal limit of .08.
Do You Have a Right to Refuse a Chemical Test?
Florida has an implied consent law. That means that if you refuse to submit to a chemical test you will be subject to a fine and automatic license suspension. But if you blow above the legal limit the same is true, so do not BLOW!
Zero Tolerance for Drivers under 21
Florida has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21. This means that any driver under 21 that is stopped by law enforcement and has a blood alcohol level of .02 or higher will automatically have their Florida drivers’ license suspended for 6 months. The .02 limit really means that you cannot have a single drink and drive. And that’s the idea.
For drivers over 21 the legal limit in Florida is .08. Regardless of your age be aware that drinking and driving is considered a serious offense because you can lose your driver’s license, face high fines,  be incarcerated and have you insurance rates sky rocket.
Ignition Interlock
Florida law mandates that any driver convicted of a second DUI have an Ignition Interlock device installed in their vehicle. A judge may order an Interlock installed on first convictions depending on circumstances.
Source DMVflorida.org
DUI (Driving Under the Influence of Alcoholic Beverages, Chemical Substances or Controlled Substances). s. 316.193, F.S.
Under Florida law, DUI is one offense, proved by impairment of normal faculties or unlawful blood alcohol or breath alcohol level of .08 or above. The penalties upon conviction are the same, regardless of the manner in which the offense is proven.
DUI Fine Schedule s. 316.193(2)(a)-(b), F.S.
1.      First Conviction: Not less than $500, or more than $1,000. With Blood/Breath Alcohol Level (BAL) of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000.
2.      Second Conviction: Not less than $1,000, or more than $2,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $2,000, or more than $4,000.
3.      Third Conviction More than 10 years from second: Not less than $2,000, or more than $5,000. With BAL of .15 or higher or minor in the vehicle: Not less than $4,000.
4.      Fourth or Subsequent Conviction: Not less than $2,000.
Hiring A DUI Lawyer
Regardless of the severity of your charges, it is important to hire a DUI lawyer immediately. When you are choosing a DUI lawyer, look for one who has several years of experience in handling your case and who is knowledgeable DUI laws in your state. DUI attorneys can help you rebut testimonies against you and prove in court that the results of chemical tests are invalid and unreliable. They can speak on your behalf and can defend you during hearings and trials to ensure that your driving privileges would not be revoked or would be reinstated. With DUI conviction, DUI lawyers are able to find ways to minimize penalties filed against you and can speak to court judges before the final decision made.
Florida Administrative Proceedings for DUI in Palm Beach County
There are two circumstances in Florida for which you will receive an administrative license suspension for DUI: when you are charged with per se DUI, and when you refuse to submit to a DUI BAC test. These administrative penalties are applied separately to your license from any criminal penalties, meaning an administrative driver’s license suspension for refusing a DUI test will be in addition to any driver’s license suspensions issued during sentencing after your DUI criminal conviction. For a test refusal, this penalty is one year for a first refusal, and 18 months for a subsequent refusal.
For a per se DUI citation, it’s six months for a first citation, and one year for any subsequent per se DUIs. The benefit of these administrative penalties being separate from the criminal penalties is that they are also fought separately. The administrative license suspension is handled by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. Under Fla. Stat. §§ 316.2615 & 322.64, you can request one of two different reviews of your suspension. The first is an informal review where a FDHSMV hearing officer reviews the evidence and materials submitted by you and your arresting officer to determine if procedures were followed and if the DUI suspension is justified.
The second type of Florida DMV DUI administrative license review hearing is a formal review, where you and your West Palm Beach drunk driving defense attorney can present witnesses and evidence, as well as cross-examine any witnesses or evidence presented by your arresting officer. The formal administrative license review makes for a good test run of your qualified Palm Beach County DUI lawyer’s defense strategies in addition to possibly increasing your chances of having the DUI administrative suspension overturned.
10 Day Rule
You only have 10 days after your DUI arrest to request a formal or informal DMV administrative hearing for DUI from the appropriate clerk. Since the administrative hearing is held separately from any criminal procedures, you also have nothing to lose. Contact an experienced drunk driving attorney in West Palm Beach as soon as possible after your arrest so that you can immediately begin building a defense for your administrative license suspension review in Palm Beach County.
West Palm Beach DUI Defense Attorney
Florida DUI convictions come with serious penalties, and defending against the DUI charges takes someone with in-depth knowledge of the many facets in a DUI case. If you have been arrested for DUI in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Greenacres, Jupiter, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Riviera Beach, Royal Palm Beach, or Wellington, take the important first step in your Palm Beach County DUI defense strategy and call Andrew D. Stine, P.A. immediately.
Skilled and knowledgeable West Palm Beach drunk driving defense lawyer Andrew Stine has over 10 years of experience defending clients like you, and is a former public defender and army medic. His life and legal experiences give him an in-depth understanding of DUI charges and militant attention to detail that he can apply to building a strong, comprehensive defense for your West Palm Beach area DUI case.
To find out more about what Andrew D. Stine, P.A. can do for your drunk driving case in Palm Beach County, call 561.880.4300 today and schedule your free initial case consultation.

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